Newsletter: Why are more women being killed?

Female homicide victims
Female homicide victims.
(Los Angeles Times)

As homicides overall in L.A. drop, more women are being killed — often by intimate partners.


Why Are More Women Being Killed?


Last year, 114 women were killed in Los Angeles County, the highest number since the beginning of the decade, according to a Times analysis of coroner and law enforcement records. Oftentimes, it was at the hands of an intimate partner. Meanwhile, the death toll for men declined dramatically to 523 from 755 deaths a decade earlier. Nationally, the number of women killed is also rising. Experts say pinpointing why is difficult. The violence directed toward women is often the result of a web of social, psychological and economic factors.

An Unlikely Trump Pick

He was born in Los Angeles, completed law school at UC Berkeley and became a fixture of Republican presidential campaigns for more than a dozen years. He’s a Reagan Republican who’s served as a diplomat in administrations led by each major party. In 2016, he never endorsed Donald Trump. Now, Robert C. O’Brien, the State Department’s top hostage negotiator, is President Trump’s unlikely selection to be his fourth national security advisor. Meanwhile, the White House is struggling to offer a coherent response to Iran for its suspected role in the fiery attack on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia last weekend.

More Politics

— The Washington Post reports that two former U.S. officials said Trump’s communications with a foreign leader included a “promise” regarded as so troubling that it prompted an intelligence official to file a whistleblower complaint.

— Trump’s tour of California took him to San Diego with a Wednesday afternoon visit to the border, where he reviewed a prototype of his much-debated wall and signed it in Sharpie.

— Trump’s big idea for fixing California’s homelessness crisis should look familiar to many prominent Democrats: eliminate layers of regulation to make it easier and cheaper to build more housing. But that’s about where the similarities end.

— Federal Reserve officials cut interest rates for a second straight time as insurance against a recession, but there was a growing divide among policymakers about the future path of rates. Trump’s reaction? “Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No ‘guts,’ no sense, no vision! A terrible communicator!” he tweeted.

The Education of Janet Napolitano

After six years as University of California president, Janet Napolitano has announced she is stepping down Aug. 1, 2020. Sources said she was simply ready to move on and not forced out, although some of the regents were known to have desired a leadership change. Napolitano, who was U.S. Homeland Security secretary under President Obama, has championed immigrant students and sexual abuse victims while leading the UC system, but her management style has sparked criticism (remember Surveygate?). This timeline explores how she tackled the major issues.

Where Eagles Dare

The bald eagle has landed — a few miles above Azusa, for one. Indeed, scientists say a new breed of “urban eagles” is moving into Southern California and throughout the nation, displaying an unusual tolerance for the clatter and commotion of city life or, at least, suburbia. But as these birds draw crowds of onlookers, wildlife authorities must deal with an array of complex issues.

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On this date in 1985, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the southwest coast of Mexico, jolting the capital city and small towns throughout the country. At least 4,200 people died — possibly many more — and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. In 2017, on the 32nd anniversary of the tragedy, a 7.1 earthquake hit the country. Some 228 died in the capital in that quake, and a report last year found that dozens of buildings that collapsed had been shoddily constructed and wrongly deemed safe by building inspectors.

Sept. 19, 1985: A man stands on the wreckage of the General Hospital in Mexico City where collapsing floors killed 277 in earthquake.
(Dave Gatley / Los Angeles Times)


— The arrest of Democratic donor Ed Buck is serving as a kind of grim vindication for the black LGBTQ community in West Hollywood.

— Businesses in the state will soon face new limits in their use of independent contractors under a closely watched proposal signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

— L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson called this week for the rejection of a proposed 577-unit housing project, saying the city should go further by establishing “anti-displacement zones” around certain market-rate housing developments.

— The U.S. district attorney’s office says a woman in Irvine has admitted to running a “birth tourism” business in which she helped pregnant Chinese women come to the U.S.

— A hearing in downtown Los Angeles on the status of the conservatorship that has controlled the personal and financial decisions of Britney Spears since 2008 was closed to the public and media. Fans have been insisting it’s time to #FreeBritney.


— The Emmys shouldn’t overlook Amy Adams’ performance in “Sharp Objects,” Matthew Eng writes in a column. Her subtle touch as an actor makes what she does look easy, and our culture is quicker to reward conspicuous effort.

— New NBC host Lilly Singh hopes having more women of color in TV comedy will mean no longer being asked how it feels to be one of the only women with a late-night show.

— Whether or not she breaks the Emmy record Sunday that she’s already tied, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has already shown she can give a mean acceptance speech, from curses to in-character gags to speech switcheroos.


— With the White House and Congress paralyzed over how — or even whether — to act on intelligence agency warnings about foreign interference in U.S. elections, several states have attempted to take matters into their own hands.

— “I’m disappointed in myself”: A yearbook photo showing Justin Trudeau in brownface makeup at a costume party in 2001 is rocking the Canadian prime minister’s reelection campaign.

Bermuda is bracing for Hurricane Humberto, while Tropical Storm Imelda is bringing rain to Texas.


Bootleg drugs are flooding immigrant communities cut off from healthcare.

— The Writers Guild of America’s war with talent agencies has put Hollywood writers’ lawyers in a novel position. They’re no longer just negotiating deals for their clients; they’re also reading scripts, talking career moves and dissecting guild strategy.


— The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics officially have a mascot: a cartoon panda accompanied by a glowing lantern with arms and legs.

— Just as Colin Kaepernick reminds the NFL he’s ready to return, an alarming number of teams have lost their starting quarterbacks. Chuck Schilken runs through some of them.

— The sight of four stacked decks of fans is enough to strike fear in the hearts of rival teams in Dodger Stadium, columnist Bill Plaschke writes.

— In other Dodgers news: The team has sold a minority share to two investors, expanding its ownership group to nine.


— It’s not yet clear who will lead Israel; though its close election looks to be tipping toward Benjamin Netanyahu‘s centrist rival Benny Gantz, coalition talks could drag on for weeks. But one thing is clear, writes Yossi Klein Halevi: The victor is democracy.

— The public deserves to know how exactly the state is executing its death-row inmates, including whether their executioners know what they’re doing, Scott Martelle writes. If such work is so shameful, maybe it shouldn’t be done at all.

— The world is on fire, and the ocean is rising, writes Nikayla Jefferson, a recent UC Santa Barbara graduate. That’s all the more reason to participate in Friday’s climate strike, she says.


— Nine months after she was sworn in after an upset election victory, sealing her reputation as the standard-bearer for a new wave of young progressives, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has tempered her brash style with a careful political calculus. (New York Times)

— How a single mom in Shanghai is blazing a legal trail for China’s growing number of unmarried mothers. (South China Morning Post)

Taylor Swift has a lot to say about life, music and Kanye West. (Rolling Stone)


In October 1846, Los Angeles was known as El Pueblo de Los Ángeles in the vast and remote Mexican territory of Alta California. It was the time of the Mexican-American War, and the mayor was intent on keeping invaders at bay — in this case, U.S. Marines. The secret weapon: a small cannon. Here’s how the Battle of Dominguez Hills was won and lost — and how it will be reenacted.

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